The Concord Chamber Music Society
"It gives me great pride to announce the release of the Concord Chamber Music Society's first recording project. It was an exhilarating experience to play in Mechanics Hall, collaborate with Chris Brubeck and Michael Gandolfi, and work with the exceptional Reference Recordings team." —Wendy Putnam, CCMS founder.
These new works by Chris Brubeck and Michael Gandolfi, two of America's most-commissioned composers, are both accessible and adventurous. Grammy award winning engineer "Prof." Keith Johnson did an outstanding job of recording this music in the superb natural acoustics of Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, an historic 19th-century landmark. Johnson's approach exemplifies the label's pursuit of the absolute sound: capturing special music in outstanding spaces.
Chris Brubeck (b. 1952) bears one of the most distinguished names in American music as the son of jazz musician and composer Dave Brubeck. Growing up with his father's wide-ranging musical activities always present, it is not surprising that his own musical world is both wide and inclusive. He plays a number of instruments, sings, and composes in both jazz and classical genres. Danza del Soul is scored for a colorful sextet of violin, piano, clarinet, cello, acoustic bass and percussion. Its stylistic mixture of traditional chamber music with elements of jazz was cheered enthusiastically at its 2010 Tanglewood Music Festival premiere with these musicians.
A native and lifelong resident of the Boston area, Michael Gandolfi (b. 1956) began his musical involvement in rock and jazz improvisation as a self-taught guitarist. His increasing skill in improvisation drew him to composition, and he began formal study in his early teens. Gandolfi frequently finds musical inspiration in art and literature. Line Drawings derives its musical ideas from drawings of Pablo Picasso. He notes, "None of my pieces is tethered to a precise Picasso drawing but they are written in the spirit of the Picasso works: concise, clear, written with a sense of immediacy and sureness of 'stroke,' light and 'airy.' This trio for violin, clarinet and piano is full of variety and vitality, a rewarding listen.
In just its second recording, the Lukas Foss duo for violin and piano, Central Park Reel, hints cheerfully at a kind of musical twin bill. "Central Park" suggests a scene in New York but "Reel" hints at a characteristic dance often accompanied by a bluegrass band. The work was designed to represent American music overseas, so it is no surprise that Foss chose a vernacular style like bluegrass fiddle playing and converted it into a lively "country" piece that still hints, here and there, at the big city.
The Concord Chamber Music Society was founded by Boston Symphony Orchestra violinist Wendy Putnam in January 2000. CCMS presents a yearly series of chamber music concerts in Concord, Massachusetts, and sponsors a variety of educational outreach initiatives throughout the region. These accomplished, dedicated and hard-working artists include Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians, members of acclaimed chamber ensembles, and faculty members of musical institutions, including the Juilliard School and the New England Conservatory of Music.
Mechanics Hall - an acoustical masterpiece - is internationally regarded as one of the world's great concert halls for its superb acoustics and inspirational beauty. The elegant 19th building in the heart of New England is on the National Register of Historic Places.
"The [musicians] play all three works with tremendous style and authority, abetted by gorgeously spacious and clean engineering...this disc is highly recommended to those seeking new chamber works that are accessible, clear and consistently interesting." —Jed Distler,Gramophone
"Here's an attractive trio of contemporary American chamber works that make use of tonality in various guises, as well as jazz and other vernacular influences, but explore both novel concepts and rigorous formal devices and could not in any way be called crossover pieces. [The Foss] is a sparkling finale to an enjoyable program." --James Manheim, AllMusic .com - complete review
"The outstanding audio is the equal of any CD quality that I have ever heard and plays on any regular player... This release is receiving my top recommendation..." —Karl Lozier, PositiveFeedback.com
"Best of all is Gandolfi's Line Drawings, a 2009 commission that consists of five short pieces for violin, clarinet, and piano. Inspired by Picasso's drawings, Gandolfi set himself the task of writing quickly and spontaneously (as Picasso drew), and the results are highly enjoyable and playful." —David Perkins, The Boston Globe
"The CD with music by Chris Brubeck, Michael Gandolfi and Lukas Foss is wonderful...The sextet of violin, piano, clarinet, cello, acoustic bass, and percussion sounded gorgeous." —Steve Guttenberg, The Audiophiliac
Track Listing and links to mp3 sound samples: BRUBECK - danza del soul - 1 Introductions and Flirtations; 2 The Loneliness of Secrets; 3 Celebraçion de Vida; Wendy Putnam, violin; Thomas Martin, clarinet; Vytas Baksys, piano; Owen Young, cello;Lawrence Wolfe, bass; Daniel Bauch, percussion; GANDOLFI - line drawings - 4 Canon, Cut and Paste; 5 A Farewell to Old Friends; 6 Hidden Variable; 7 Obbligato Aria; 8 Chickens; Wendy Putnam, violin; Thomas Martin, clarinet; Vytas Baksys, piano; FOSS - 9 central park reel; Wendy Putnam, violin; Vytas Baksys, piano
RR-122HDCD - CCMS - Brubeck, Gandofi, Foss- $16.98 - Also availabel as HR-122(HRx)